30 Dec 2014, 2:57pm

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More 2014 retrospection

WordPress puts together quite a nice ‘Your Blog in 2014’ package. You can see the one for sendaiben.org here:

Year in 2014

Next up, goals for 2015.

26 Dec 2014, 2:16pm
evaluation personal

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Looking back on 2014

2014 end

Well, this year went by fast! In a lot of ways 2014 was a good one for me.

I was able to do a fair bit of travelling and presenting, things went well at both the university and Cambridge, and I learned a lot.

Unfortunately I neglected this blog, and haven’t posted as frequently as I would have liked to.

Here are my highlights of 2014:

  1. ER@TU
    The Extensive Reading at Tohoku University project went incredibly well this year. Not only did we receive special funding of 5 million yen to buy more books, but we were also noticed by the university administration. We’re working on rolling extensive reading classes out to more teachers and were selected to receive a prize for the project.
  2. International Textbook
    I was really pleased to be able to contribute to Oxford University Press’ new textbook series Stretch. I wrote the presenting skills curriculum.
  3. Presenting
    I was able to present at a number of international and domestic events this year, including delivering my first plenary at VUS TESOL in Vietnam, presentations in Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand, and a number of events in Japan.
  4. Guest Lectures
    I really enjoyed giving guest lectures at Miyagi University of Education, Nika Junior and Senior High School, Sendai Second High School, and Tago Elementary School. It was a great experience to present on new topics to new audiences.

I will be working on my annual review and plans for 2015 over the next week or so, and will post some of my educational goals here in the new year.

Hope you are all enjoying a bit of a break. Happy holidays!

The end of meanness?

And the benevolent shall inherit the earth

calvin and hobbes moe

I just read a fantastic essay on the role of character and success, and how it might be changing due to our society’s evolution. Check it out here.

From a teaching perspective, this underscores the importance of helping our students learn how to work together and collaborate.

3 Dec 2014, 11:08am
conference JALT


JALT National Conference 2014



Was actually really good


This year I was again lucky enough to be able to attend the JALT National Conference in Tsukuba. It’s no secret that I prefer the intimate, geeky atmosphere of the Pan-SIG conference to the sprawling opulence of the national, and to be honest I wasn’t super-excited about going to Tsukuba. The dearth of transport links meant taking the shinkansen down to Tokyo, then the Tsukuba Express back up to Tsukuba. Grumble grumble.

However, I was wrong this year about both the conference (which was excellent) and Tsukuba (which I ended up liking quite a bit). Humble pie for brunch today.

So what was so good about this year’s conference? As a predictable blogger, I have a list for you:

  1. the venue was fantastic. Compact, clean, and easy to navigate, it was pretty close to perfect
  2. lots of people came to my presentation on Saturday evening, despite the unsociable time slot
  3. I somehow managed to attend a really good selection of presentations (and one truly awful one, but we won’t go into that)
  4. as usual, the conversations in the hallway were just as good as the presentations, and I came away with some really good ideas
  5. central Tsukuba (well, the bit around the venue) was pretty good: nice restaurants, a decent bar, and lots of trees
  6. I only managed to see one plenary (Thomas Farrell on reflective teaching) but it was excellent

So I may have to rethink my attitude towards the national conference. I guess the more people you know the better it becomes in aggregate, and I’m starting to feel like I know most of the people at JALT 🙂

Next year’s conference is in Shizuoka again. O-tanoshimi da ne!



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